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Last updated: February 1, 2020

Overcoming Challenges of Global Leadership
Global leadership is faced with multiple challenges of all kinds that consequently deem it problematic to operate effectively. The contemporary world presents global leaders with various evolving issues to contemplate on, and therefore is subject to an ever changing system of operations. In particular, the present business world is never constant, but rather challenges develops continually in the workplace just like the setting to which they operate (Gentry et al., 2014). As a leader, one must therefore be willing to face challenges, and most importantly possess the capabilities and the motivation to adapt to the ever changing working conditions and settings. For instance, it is important that global leaders be able to adapt to advancements in technology, economic forces, and several other challenges which may seem to have a significant impact on the team. Following this need to effectively face the global challenges, several motivation theories have been developed attempting to explain how motivation functions in management circles (Gentry et al., 2014). In this paper, I will be addressing the issue of global applicable theories of motivation. More specifically, the paper will answer the question how does theories explain how motivation works in leadership.
Herzberg Two-Factor Theory
The Herzberg two-factor motivation theory seeks to establish the relationship between productivity and job satisfaction as a factor of enhancing leadership. In his research to evaluate the factors that influences satisfaction in jobs, Fredrick Herzberg found out that factors resulting to job satisfaction are separate and different from those that leads to dissatisfaction in the same job setting (Brevis, 2015). This way, Herzberg strives to show that motivation in business leadership is dependent on particular factors and independent of others. Thus, in the two-factor theory of motivation, Herzberg identifies two sets of factors which have significant impact on motivation in a particular work setting. He distinguishes hygiene factors (workplace context) and the motivators (workplace content) as the primary framework of understanding motivation in work settings, in this case the global leadership (Brevis, 2015).
To begin with, Herzberg explains one of the factors of motivation, hygiene factors, to encompass critical elements such as salary, business security, interpersonal relationship, environment of operation, and managerial policies. While these factors do not necessarily motivate individuals, they are classified as some of the primary causes of dissatisfaction in the event that they miss in leadership or work setting (Brevis, 2015). For instance, a simple factor such increasing the loudness of music in an office can be a significant cause of dissatisfaction and thus the leaders have the responsibility of ensuring the surroundings are conducive for all employees to feel comfortable. The element of hygiene factors is for example taken into consideration at the Google Inc. as way of maintaining employee’s motivation; they have a variety of medical packages, a wide selection of foodstuff in the cafeteria, and much more (Brevis, 2015). On the other hand, the motivators have direct impact on the motivation of individuals. They include but not limited to; achievement, opportunities for growth, and recognition. Managers and leaders have the mandate of ensuring that there are sufficient hygiene factors from which they can establish motivators. For instance, they should link salary increment with promotion at work, thereby creating a sense of recognition which consequently motivates an individual (Brevis, 2015).
Basically, the Herzberg two-factor motivation theory applies in various ways in management and business leadership (Brevis, 2015). It emphasizes on the importance of work itself in the efforts to motivate individuals, particularly the employees. It links factors that brings satisfaction and those that leads to dissatisfaction to explain how motivation works on leadership and management. Thus, with its staying power in motivation, it is evident that the Herzberg two-factor theory applies in management and global leadership.
ERG (Existence, Relatedness, Growth) Theory of Motivation
The ERG theory of motivation commonly described as the Alderfer’s ERG theory was established by Clayton Alderfer based on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. In an effort to explain motivation using his theory, Alderfer breakdowns the five levels of need described by Maslow. To begin, he explains the existence needs as some of the primary motivators in management and leadership. The element of existence entails needs such as material well-being and physiological stability (Caulton, 2012). The relatedness needs explains how motivation applies by focusing on how individuals relate with the social environment and encompasses aspects such as evocative interrelationships, esteem needs, and love. Lastly, the growth needs element of motivation focuses on the potential for development, self-actualization and esteem (Brevis, 2015).
While the priority for the ERG needs differs depending on the individual in consideration, and should be balanced effectively to avoid frustration in the quest to realize greater levels of needs. In a work environment or leadership context, if any of the established needs remains disgruntled, a person tends to become frustrated and reverts to satisfying needs of lower levels (Caulton, 2012). This aspect therefore places emphasis on the global managers and leaders to remain focused in ensuring that their workforces are satisfied. This could encompass providing adequate opportunities for their workforces to capitalize on the importance of needs that are of higher levels as opposed to those of lower needs (Caulton, 2012). As a result, all parties remain motivated, and hence guarantees productivity and efficiency.
Goal Theory
This theory plays a critical role in performance management procedures, and was established from the management-by-objective (MBO) approach that has been highly questioned. Developed by the duo, Locke and Latham, goal theory states that motivation and performance are greater when an individual establishes precise goals to be achieved, whenever the putative goals are challenging, and whenever a feedback is provided on the performance of the individuals (Osabiya, 2015). This way, the theory argues that motivation must be triggered by such factors in order to be applicable in management and leadership. Therefore, the basic premise of the goal theory is that people’s goals and intents are the primary determinants of the person’s behaviour in relation to job satisfaction, management and leadership. They often guide people’s reactions and actions by directing work behaviour and performance, and leads to a certain feedback. The feedback is responsible for creating a sense of motivation that is needed to boost the effectiveness and productivity of individuals (Osabiya, 2015). Thus, leaders and managers ought to consider establishing closer relationships with their workforces to act as agents of motivation by upholding practices such as providing feedback and such.
In understanding how the Goal theory applies, Locke and Latham explains that goals informs individuals to achieve specified levels of performance, in order for them to guide and assess their actions; whereas the performance feedback allows the individual to establish how effective they have been functioning in relation to the set goals. This way, it creates room for strategies and new directions to be made in case a need for adjustment is identified (Osabiya, 2015). Also, people who tend to have challenging goals have been established to be better performers in all their tasks when compared to persons who have vague and easier goals. According to Osabiya (2015), goal theory has been established as one of the most influential theories of work motivation, and can be applied across all cultures without much alterations.
Equity Theory
In attempting to explain motivation, the equity theory states that an individual must be in a capacity to perceive a relationship between the rewards they receive to their individual performance. Basically, an individual compares their own inputs and outputs to those of other persons that they consider as their equal in order to decide whether the reward presented to them is fair. As a result, it has been established that the theory holds upon four mechanisms that lead to either motivation or demotivation of an individual (Ball, 2012). To begin with, every person strives to capitalize on their outcomes significantly, and thus the theory serves as a motivator. Secondly, it holds that establishing acceptable equity systems results to maximized collective rewards. Thirdly, inequitable relationships for example getting too little of something leads to distress, and thus could serve as a source of demotivation. Lastly, persons who perceive of themselves being in prejudiced relations strive to eradicate the anguish by restoring equity (Ball, 2012). Among other things in motivation, the equity theory presents managers and global leaders with an explanation of how beliefs and attitudes influences job performance, as well as emphasizing on the need for managers to focus more on what their workforces consider being fair and equitable, among many others (Osabiya, 2015).
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
The next theory of motivation that is globally accepted is the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. This is one of the theories that are widely known across the globe. Under this theory, Maslow’s suggested that human beings are motivated by the desire to satisfy certain needs. He further argued that these needs can basically be ranked in form a hierarchy such that the needs follow each other from the bottom to the top. Maslow’s demonstrated this hierarchy in form of a pyramid with needs ranked from the bottom of the pyramid up to the top of the pyramid. He further stated that people usually get motivated by the desire to satisfy the needs which have not yet been satisfied. When such a need is satisfied, it ceases to be a motivating factor and thus a person seeks to satisfy another need at a higher rank (Cassidy, & Kreitner, 2009). Five needs were identified by Maslow.
Physiological Needs
The first category of needs is known as the physiological needs. These needs are usually found at the base of the pyramid. They comprise of needs such as the desire to satisfy hunger, the need to have shelter among others. Global managers should be able to learn and understand the various needs that different employees seeks to satisfy so that they can use such needs as motivating factors (Montana, & Charnov, 2008). For instance, if the global manager establishes that the employees are seeking to satisfy the physiological needs, he can then promise to assist the employees to meet these needs as one way of motivating them. A manager can promise to provide lunch to employees who demonstrate outstanding performance as one way of meeting the physiological needs. In a similar way, the global manager can also assist the employees to meet other physiological needs to motivate them (Montana, & Charnov, 2008).
Safety Needs
The second category of needs that is just above the physiological needs is the safety needs. Once all the physiological needs have been satisfied by the employees, they cease to be motivating factors to the employees and the employees seek to satisfy the safety needs which are at a higher rank. A global manager who identifies the safety needs as among the needs that the employees seek to accomplish, he or she should then use the satisfaction of the safety needs as a motivating factor. Managers can guarantee the employees protection from security threats such as physical injuries among others (Robbins, 2009).
A global manager can achieve this by ensuring that appropriate safety measures have been put in place within the work place to ensure maximum protection of the employees. In addition, managers can also take insurance covers for the employees who engage themselves in risky work activities as one way of enhancing their safety in the work place. Assuring the employees of their job security can also be a motivating factor to employees seeking to accomplish safety needs (Daft, 2014).
Social Needs
The third category of needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy is the social needs. These needs can strongly influence the behavior of the employees. These needs include the desire to feel loved, the desire to belong to a certain group or family as well as the affection needs. A global manager should assist the employees to meet these needs as one way of motivating the employees. For instance, the manager should allow the employees to have an opportunity to join work groups or organizations to give the employees a sense of belonging (Cassidy, ; Kreitner, 2009).
Self-Esteem Needs
Once the social needs are achieved, they cease from being a motivating factor to the employees and as such, the employees seek to accomplish the next category of needs which is the self-esteem needs. These include needs such as self-respect, recognition by other members, having a status in the work place among others (French, 2011). Similarly, a global manager should be able to identify the employees seeking to accomplish these needs and use them as motivating factors. For instance, global managers should recognize the highly performing employees or those holding leadership positions by giving them their own offices with labels and titles at the door as one way of recognizing their status. This can highly motivate employees seeking to achieve the self-esteem needs (French, 2011).
Self-Actualization Needs
The last category of needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy is the self-actualization needs which are located at the top of the pyramid. After members of an organization have accomplished all the other needs, they seek to achieve self-actualization in their lives. Under this level of needs, people pursue their full realization of their life goals thus achieving their life’s self-fulfillment. Global managers should be able to identify the employees seeking to accomplish these needs and assist them to achieve these needs by allowing them to engage in challenging assignments as well as creative tasks so as to motivate them (Boone, ; Kurtz, 2010).
McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory
The other theory of motivation that is globally accepted and used is the McClelland’s acquired needs theory. According to this theory, human beings are capable of learning and acquiring some of the needs in their lives. McClelland identified three main needs that people learn and seek to accomplish in their lives. By seeking to accomplish these needs, people feel motivated to work hard so as to meet the learned needs. The first need under this theory is the need to achieve. This entails the desire to execute challenging assignments in the best way possible as well as satisfactorily achieve any of the standards set by the person (Nelson, ; Quick, 2013).
McClelland also identified the desire to achieve fairness in the workplace as the second kind of need that people learn in lives and consequently seek to achieve. The employees learn and seek to be treated in a fair manner in comparison to the other employees of the organization. A global manager should be capable of promoting equality and fairness in the workplace so as to motivate the employees seeking to accomplish these needs. In addition, the desire for affiliation is the next type of need that employees learn in their lives and eventually seek to accomplish. This entails establishing close as well as good relationships with other members of the organization (Dyck, ; Neubert, 2010).
Lastly, people also learn to possess power and consequently exercise the power over other members of the organization. The desire to achieve this need can be a motivating factor to the employees and the managers should assist such employees to accomplish their desires as a way of motivating them and eventually improving their performance (Nelson, ; Quick, 2013).
The Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
The Vroom’s expectancy theory is yet another theory that is widely and globally accepted as a motivational theory. According to this theory, people can either get motivated or demotivated depending on the expected outcomes from their actions. An expectation that a certain task will be associated with unpleasant and undesirable outcomes can be demotivating to the employees. However, if an employee has an expectation that he or she will be rewarded after performing a certain task, such an employee will be motivated by the positive outcomes expected to be achieved (Boone, ; Kurtz, 2010).
Expectancy theory suggests that managers can be able to influence the behavior of the employees and their performance by shaping their expectations on the outcomes of their jobs. A manager should keep on encouraging the employees that when they apply greater efforts in their jobs, they will realize better performance. The managers should emphasize that the increased performance of the employees will then be rewarded accordingly. Such an encouragement can significantly change the expectations of the employees which can then motivate the employees thus improving their performance (Sims, 2002).
Competitive global leaders should have an extensive knowledge in handling work challenges in a more diversified and dynamic work environment. The workforce in most modern global organizations is quite diversified and managers should have the capabilities to effectively handle the employees so as to improve their performance. One of the factors that affect the employee’s performance is their level of motivation. An understanding of the various theories of employee motivation is thus crucial for a global leader who is focused on improving the employee’s performance. There are several theories of employee motivation that is globally accepted which a global leader can use to motivate employees and eventually improve their performance. These include the Maslow’s theory of needs, the Vroom’s expectancy theory, the McClelland’s acquired needs theory, the equity theory of motivation among others. A leader should be able to select the most effective motivation theory to apply at any given situation.

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